Biggest Losing Gambling Streak in Las Vegas History

Biggest Losing Gambling Streak in Las Vegas History

This is a story about the Oriental Trading Corporation’s founder. It was founded in 1932 by Harry Watanabe and managed until 1977. He then gave the CEO to his son, Terry Watanabe. In 2000, Terry then sold all of his interest to a privately-owned firm. From this deal, Terry accumulated an immense fortune which would later drive an issue of drink and gambling.

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Online casinos at that time were still not popular. In 2007 Mr. Watanabe flew one way to Las Vegas. He went to a popular Harrah casino, and the casinos slowly drenched his fortune as a high-roller. His addiction to gambling made over a year a debt of more than $200 million. Mr. Watanabe played so well that Harrah created a different standard with his “Chairman”-style Overall Bonuses. They gave him some benefits, including $12,500 a month for planes, free concert tickets and a credit with $500,000 at gift shops. Next to 200 million dollars spent in the Casino, that’s nothing.


Since a Thanksgiving visit for his son, Mr. Watanabe eventually stopped his gambling spree. He returned to Omaha and entered an addiction treatment facility. Since then he hasn’t visited another casino, but sadly his troubles didn’t stop there. After failing to recover all his debts, Harrah lodged criminal charges against Terry. He offered to pay $112 million, but said Harrah’s abuse was irresponsibly fueled by alcohol and casino habits. Harrah’s employees say Mr. Watanabe will lose 5 million dollars a day. Mr Watanabe has pleaded not guilty to these allegations, has sued Harrah over his own criminal case, and was scheduled to appear in court in 2010. Then two weeks before the court a secret deal was concluded and the allegations brought by the sides were dropped.

Its year-long games are thought to be one of Las Vegas’ biggest losing streaks

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